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Thread: Question: How to Keep Fabric Stash Fresh Smelling?

  1. #21
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    It's not just cedar balls that can damage fabric. Anything made from wood fibers, including cardboard boxes, contains acid that gradually eats into fabric. "Archival quality" papers and cardboards have been treated to remove the acid, so they are safe, but they are also horribly expensive.

    In short, you do not want to store fabric in contact with paper, cardboard, or wood of any kind (including cedar chests). It's okay to store fabric or quilts in a cedar chest *if* they are encased so the fabric does not have direct contact with the wood.

  2. #22
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    To add a PS to Prism's post...that only applies to unsealed wood. Painted or urethaned shelves, for instance, are safe. Also FYI, the bolts that fabrics come on are acid free...I tested several of them.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  3. #23
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    In my experience, once a fabric has developed a "smell" whether its from humidity, dust, lack of air so the chemicals in the fabric take over, you won't get rid of the smell until the fabric is washed. Any new fabric placed with the older fabric will adopt the same smell. All of the above recommendations are good for clearing the air in the room, but not in the fabric. Seems you have two choices, wash all the fabric now and cure the cause or wash the quilts when they are finished to remove any oder.
    We are here to learn how to live in heaven - I'm still learning.

  4. #24
    Junior Member HouseDragon's Avatar
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    NO Febreze, PLEASE!

    Please, please don't use Febreze if you give away or sell your quilts. Those of us who are allergic to Febreze can get contact dermatitis that can take weeks to get rid of and it can act as an attack trigger to those of us with asthma.

    Unfortunately, I've had both happen to me. I woke up with every part of my body not covered by my nightie broken out after sleeping one night under sheets washed in a laundry soap "with Febreze" at my DD's. And I could never understand why the back of my legs would break out after visiting my DDIL's: they sprayed their couch with Febreze.


    Thank you to the poster who suggested the charcoal shoe inserts. I know that idea is going to come in handy at some point!

    I store my fabrics in plastic bins stacked on top of each other with a rolling bin at the bottom of each stack. Because of their construction, the bins are not air tight which lets air circulate to a limited extent. Fabrics are usually washed as they are bought but not always. I pink the cut edges before washing which makes it quick & easy to tell "Washed or not washed?".

  5. #25
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    What kind of test did you do to tell that the bolt cardboards are acid free?

  6. #26
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    What kind of test did you do to tell that the bolt cardboards are acid free?
    There are inexpensive pH testers that artists (and scrapbookers, I believe) use to test papers and matboards (first got mine for printmaking).

    It's like a felt tip pen. The mark changes color to indicate the acid level with a high, moderate, or acid-free rating (can't find my 'score card' at the moment). I've also tried it on corrugated cardboard to confirm it works and that tests high.

    Dick Blick is one source, but I'm sure there must be more...maybe even Michael's.
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/ac...kTracking=true
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    There are inexpensive pH testers that artists (and scrapbookers, I believe) use to test papers and matboards (first got mine for printmaking).

    It's like a felt tip pen. The mark changes color to indicate the acid level with a high, moderate, or acid-free rating (can't find my 'score card' at the moment). I've also tried it on corrugated cardboard to confirm it works and that tests high.

    Dick Blick is one source, but I'm sure there must be more...maybe even Michael's.
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/ac...kTracking=true
    Learned something new - thank you.

  8. #28
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I have found that using white vinegar in the wash and rinse cycles will get just about any smell out of fabric. I can't tolerate any of the candle smells or many soaps -- and the fabric softener sheets gives me migranes so I have to use other things to remove the smells.

    My fabric is in the finished daylight basement, but fortunately no smells yet.
    QuiltnLady1

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  9. #29
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    If your room is carpeted, that may be contributing to the problem.
    Stephanie in Mena

  10. #30
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    Prewash your fabric. Store fabric in containers that allows the fabric to breath. Never store in plastic containers, they do not allow the fabric to breath. Unwashed fabric outgasses formaldhyde, and it has chemicals from the dying process.

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